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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 12, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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05/12/14 05/12/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> these results only mean the people demand their opinion be respected, the norms of international law be respected. we demand the right for self-determination and we will strive toward this. >> as eastern ukraine residents vote in favor of self-rule in a hastily organized referendum, could ukraine down the? edge of disintegrating we will speak with russian expert stpehen cohen.
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the world health organization declares a polio emergency. >> the director general has declared the spread of wild polio virus today 2014 a public health emergency of international concern. 74 cases of polio due to wild polio virus so far this year. 59 of those cases have been reported from pakistan. >> we will look at the link between the outbreak of polio in the cia. polio has been on the rise in pakistan ever since the cia ran a fake vaccination scheme to track down osama bin laden. we will get the latest on the nearly 300 girls kidnapped in nigeria. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the boko haram has released a video showing the first images
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of the kidnapped nigerian schoolgirls since their abduction nearly one month ago. close to half the nearly 300 girls are seen on the tape, chanting what appears to be a verse from the koran. leader is also shown and appears to offer the girls freedom in exchange for the nigerian government's release of all the groups prisoners. three of the girls are interviewed, saying they have not been harmed and have converted to islam. the nigerian military says it has deployed 10 search teams in the remote northeast where the girls were seized. nigerian president good luck jonathan says he does not believe reports the girls of and taken to neighboring cameroon. working to see where
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they are. [indiscernible] >> the nigerian government has faced criticism for delayed response to the girl's kidnapping. both the u.s. and british governments are now accusing jonathan of being slow to accept their offers of assistance. meanwhile, amnesty international also says the government failed to act on warnings of the boko haram's plans to attack the girls school. amnesty international today confirms that the nigerian authorities actually were aware that an attack was imminent on the school at least four hours before it happened. and this is the result of multiple interviews in different locations the people speaking on condition of anonymity within the nigerian military.
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>> over the weekend, protest continued in nigeria and around the world for the girls return. nigerians and this is happen to our sisters and daughters, our nieces. i think we have left it too long to even speak of it in this magnitude. i think it is every -- it is important every single person, whether it is rallying, posting were signing a petition, nothing is too small. >> solidarity rallies with the bring back our girls campaign continued around the world over the weekend. they marched outside the nigerian consulate in new york. >> where here to support and also demand that the government who's involved in issue of supporting globalization and trafficking of girls and women, they have to step to the plate.
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this is just the tip of the iceberg. >> more later in the broadcast. pro-russian groups have claimed a landslide victory in a referendum on self-rule in two parts of eastern ukraine. the vote was held in the regions and donetsk. the russian government says it respects the results of the referendum, but is not indicated any plans to annex eastern ukraine. the referendum was held under chaotic circumstances with a regular voting conditions and violence between pro-russian emperor ukrainian forces. we will have more on ukraine after headlines. the state department says u.s. operatives in yemen have killed two people in a failed kidnapping attempt. a special operations commander and a cia officer were barely getting haircuts in the capital last month when two armed militants tried to take them into captivity. it is unclear what the american
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operatives were doing in yemen, but they've since left the country. a spate of violence continued sunday when a suicide bomber killed at least 10 yemeni soldiers in a southern city. the attack was in apparent retaliation for massive yemeni campaign that has killed dozens of alleged al qaeda fighters in recent weeks. earlier today, an apparent u.s. drone strike killed at least five alleged militants in eastern yemen. president obama delivered a speech in california on friday touting new efforts on energy efficiency and solar power. actionsveiled executive boosting spending on her noble energy and announced a series of commitments from private and public groups. >> two years ago i ordered $2 billion in energy upgrades to federal buildings. today i'm ordering an additional $2 billion in upgrades over the next three years. these upgrades will create tens of thousands of construction jobs and save taxpayers billions of dollars. the department of energy was putting a new vision see
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standard -- said of efficiency standards in place i can say businesses dozens of dollars in energy costs and cut carbon pollution, the equivalent of taking about 80 million cars off the road. >> the president chose to unveil his energy initiatives at the retail giant walmart, the country's largest employer and a target of frequent criticism for its treatment of workers. obama's venue choice drew a protest from hundreds of people outside, including walmart workers seeking higher wages. >> the fact there workers starving and being mistreated day in and day out, we're speaking out on those issues. oni have to depend everything, every resource out there. i depend on the food pantry. i have to go to government assistance to get my utilities paid. and i work for walmart and have been there almost nine years. >> according to government figures, walmart gets just 3% of
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its electricity from wind and solar. in a statement a coalition of over 30 entire metal civil rights and labor groups criticized obama for speaking at walmart saying -- the new york city police department is running a program that recruits jailed muslim immigrants to act as informants. unit known as the citywide debriefing -- debriefing team confronts mostly muslim suspects after they arrested for minor infractions. the immigrants have been asked to spy on cafés, restaurants, and mosques as part of a counterterrorism operation. some have reported feeling intimidated by the encounters. the debriefing team appears to be formerly separate from the controversial nypd spying unit targeting muslims disbanded just last month. hasucky senator rand paul called on fellow republicans to drop an aggressive focus on
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voter id laws, saying the party is alienating african-americans. thinking after a meeting with black leaders in memphis, paul said -- senator paul is the most prominent republican to criticize the parties push for voter id laws, which opponents say disenfranchise people of color. paul's views on civil rights start a controversy as a candidate in 2010 he publicly opposed enforcing the civil rights act on private businesses. same-sex couples received their marriage licenses in arkansas this weekend after a federal judge overturned the state's marriage equality ban. the judge's ruling friday made arkansas the latest state to have its gay marriage ban struck down in court, following utah, michigan, virginia, texas, and oklahoma so far this year. as in other states, the arkansas
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attorney general says he plans to appeal, meaning the ban could be reinstated. us county clerks offices that were open refused to grant the marriage licenses on saturday, but over a dozen couples were processed at the county clerk in eureka springs. jennifer rambo and kristin seaton were the first couple to obtain a marriage license. >> we're here today in eureka springs, arkansas to get married. ban fore lifted the same-sex marriage, so we traveled down here today -- >> to exercise our right. >> chuck hagel has voiced support for reviewing the military's ban on transgender service members. in an interview with abc news, he was asked if transgender people should be allowed to serve openly following the repeal of the ban on openly gay and lesbian service members in 2010. hagel didn't not endorse a repeal, but said the ban should be reviewed. >> i do think it continually
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should be reviewed. i'm open to that, by the way. i'm open to those assessments because, again, i go back to the bottom line. every qualified american who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it. this is an area we have not defined enough. >> the secretary of defense was speaking on abc. a recent commission cochaired by former surgeon general found "no compelling medical rationale" for banning transgendered individuals from military service. college football star michael sam has made history of the national football league's first openly gay player. the st. louis rams picked sam this weekend in the final round of the nfl draft, months after he came out publicly. sam was a first-team all-american in the southeastern conference's defensive player for the year as lineman for
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university of missouri. sam broke into tears as he took the call informing him of his draft selection. the sports network espn showed footage of him kissing his boyfriend and celebration -- in celebration. those are the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. ukraine where pro russian groups have declared independence from kiev following a hastily organized referendum on self-rule in two parts of eastern ukraine. it was held in the regions of less thand donetsk two months after residents in crimea voted to secede from ukraine. served as the head of the de facto electoral commission. >> these results only mean that the people of donetsk demand our opinion be respected, the norms of international law be respected. we demand the right for
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self-determination, and we will strive towards this. we understand perfectly that no one in the world will recognize this. european organizations and countries in the whole world will not recognize it, but we would like to be listened to and that is why we have this people's referendum organized by the people. >> earlier today, british foreign secretary william hague dismissed the results of sunday's referendum in eastern ukraine. >> the votes, these attempts of referendum have zero credibility in the eyes of the world. they are illegal by anybody standard. they don't need any standard will stop not a single standard of objectivity, transparency. the people organizing them did not even pretend to meet the standards. the ukrainian elections go-ahead on the 25th of may. >> russian foreign minister sergei lavrov says moscow respects the results of the
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referendum but he did not indicate any plans for russia to annex eastern ukraine like it annexed crimea following a similar referendum in march. >> we respect the will of the residence of the donetsk and luhansk region. dialogue between representatives of kiev, donetsk and luhansk. >> to talk more about ukraine was and is referendum will mean, we're joined by stpehen cohen from new york university and princeton university. his most recent book is, "soviet fates and lost alternatives: from stalinism to the new cold war." he recently cowrote an article for the nation with katrina vanden heuvel headlined, "cold war against russia -- without debate." so the significance of this election? >> the referendum yesterday?
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to make relations between moscow and the united states and europe worse, but it shouldn't. a bunch of people decided to have a referendum, which is no more or less legal than the government in kiev, which came to power from the street. what is interesting about it is that it went off with animal violence, and it tells you a lot of people down there -- minimal violence, and it tells you that a lot of people down there -- we had a slogan that was no taxation without representation. they're saying no governments without representation in kiev. they want some form of home rule. it is not about joining russia for the most part. i think no more than 17% in the poll said they would like to join russia. this is about having a voice in the ukrainian state. >> explain the referendum. it was not like crimea when it said, do you want to become a part of russia? >> about three or four months ago, maybe a little less, in donetsk, people were unhappy,
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very political people. they formed something called the people's autonomous republic ofk. it is no enormous province. it is were a lot of heavy industry, a lot of the hub of the natural gas supplies lines to your go from russia to ukraine. it really is in the industrial heartland of ukraine. they said we're declaring home rule. it just came from the street. now they put on a referendum that says, do you approve of what we did? an autonomous republic, do you approve of that? what they have said, and the guy you had on, roman, who is said, we from ukraine don't know what we're going to do next. we might have another referendum. it may be about a federal constitution or joining russia. we have to see what the people one. you are right, all it is doing is saying, we now have in donetsk and luhansk in these
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areas of eastern ukraine, government approved by the people, people who don't approve the people of kiev. you could spin that into something very positive if washington wanted to push its client stating kiev to that. it could say, ok, it is time to negotiate. kiev should begin, instead of sending troops which it has been doing for the last two weeks, it should send a delegation to negotiate with these people who have been affirmed by the referendum, but that is not happening. >> can you talk about the violence that was just outside the city of donetsk? apparently, at least one pro-russian demonstrator was killed when members of the national guard seized control of city hall in an apparent attempt to prevent the referendum from taking place. >> i don't think we can look at the death of that person -- i think there were more than that who died -- outside the context of what has happened since the key of government -- let our
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viewers be clear, this key of government is the government that came to power without legality. you can accept it or not accepted, but it is the government that is embraced 100% by washington and by europe. it is our government. this government sent troops to eastern ukraine. about 10,000 to 15,000. tanks, armored personnel carrier, heavy artillery with helicopters flying overhead. they flew over the cities we're discussing. remember, please, what happened in odessa about 10 days ago. i trust your listeners and viewers will remember that 40 people were burned to death in the building. that is a horrific event. >> and who did that? >> let's come back to that. a day or two after that, ukrainian troops from kiev into cityity -- injured the into the residential area or
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people lived with parks, with mothers and fathers with their kids strolling in the park, sent tanks and armored personnel carrier into that city and opened fire. put that together with odessa. that is horrific. it doesn't matter who began that. it doesn't matter if two guys in the street after a soccer game began punching each other. what government since tanks into when there's nothing happening in the city that provokes you? this personally outrageous me, the second part of the story. what do the united states government say? we regret the loss of life? there should be an investigation? no. it said kiev has the right to restore law and order. i would stretch this out. if a war crime was committed in odessa by the burning of 40 people to death in the building and by tanks entering the crime,, if that is a war
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we did not commit it but we uploaded it. there's something wrong there, no matter who is right and wrong in this dispute. ,hen the referendum took place and he asked about the shooting, the key of government tried to intimidate people going to the vote by opening fire on samaras outside of the city really. not as large as the autonomy people are claiming it was, but it was large. but this is from president vladimir putin who arrived in crimea his first visit to the region rizzoli. he gave thanks to veterans marking victory day, commemorating the anniversary of germany's surrender to the soviet union in 1945. you as an example, my dear veterans. there's a big moral import on your side -- and put on your side. he transferred to us the great values of unity, fairness, solidarity.
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you taught us to act according to our conscience, the generation that grew up in estoppel has always acted in according to the sites. i am sure that 2014 will go down in the history of our whole country as a year when all the citizens here, the people resolutely decided to be together with russia. but that is russian president vladimir putin in crimea friday. flashback, not exactly like this, but when i was a kid growing up in kentucky and indiana, we had something called victory in europe day. that is what russia calls victory day. it represents the victory over nazi germany. v.e. day inot do this country anymore unless spielberg and hanks make a movie about world war ii. but it is the most sacred secular holiday there.
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i have been going to russia for 40 or 50 years. it is true the government, going back to the communist, many pillay this holiday. it is absolutely true, for their own political purposes. this is one holiday that 95 were sent -- 90% of russians feel in our hearts it is deeply meaningful, even though it is a must 70 years after world war ii. it is meaningful because we say citizension service civil died. virtually every family in russia lost somebody who may stillmourn. putin was tapping into this on may 9. but it is meaningful. when i look at these films, remember it tells us how different our two countries are. we no longer memorialized world war ii, except for hollywood movies. whereas for russia, it is just a
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sacred holiday. >> i want to go to the ukrainian prime minister now. he was speaking at an event in ,iev commemorating victory day which marks the anniversary of germany's surrender to the soviet union. 69 years ago, we were fighting shoulder to shoulder with russia against fascism and we woin. today, russia started a war against ukraine and history is repeating itself in a different way. russia has to stop supporting terrorist who are killing peaceful people in ukraine and against whom we have started and it's a terrorist operation -- an antiterrorist operation. unity,ntry needs dialogue, and peace. peace will come when terrorism's are not supported by russia, which 69 years ago was standing shoulder to shoulder with us.
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today, it is germany, great britain, and the united states were standing shoulder to shoulder with us. >> that was the ukrainian prime minister. >> he is our man. he is the one that virginia newland you heard on the tape wanted him as prime minister. >> she was calling him on that tape yats. >> welcome it is hard to pronounce his name. yats to us. we tend to stop and think -- think with the languages come a with the danger is. is a prime minister and responsible for sending armored troops from kiev to eastern ukraine where the pro-russian or anti-kiev forces are. they call it an antiterrorist operation. antiterrorist operation. ukrainians are also living there. we're the terrorism that has been created in eastern ukraine -- where are the terrorism's
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that have included in eastern ukraine? i know of none. what language are they using to refer to the prime minister? kiev fascist. yet the government inkiev sending troops against eastern ukraine on the grounds their terrorist. and you have the insurgents, let's call them that in eastern ukraine refer to the government as fascist's. that is how far apart these people are. and all of this on the 69th anniversary of world war ii, when ukraine and russia lost millions of people to actual fascist. this is how bad it is. though bold statement he made in the premise on which american policy is being made is that putin attacked ukraine and began this whole mess. what ever you think about what the outcome should be, that is just factually untrue. all of this began when the united states and europe asked ukraine that last november to
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make a decision between russia and the european union. that trigger the protest that led to this. here's the tragedy. people are dying when there's a perfectly accessible way to negotiate. and it is not my idea from it is the idea proposed by angela merkel of germany that there be a roundtable. in ukraine, all of the conflicting ukrainian forces, and putin said a few days ago in a famous statement or he said he pulled the troops back and we say he is lying in the summit he says, we have to wait for the satellite pictures? he said, i just talked to merkel and she says there should be a roundtable in ukraine of all the combatants in ukraine. he said, i agree, let's do this. so russia wants these negotiations inside ukraine. germany, the most powerful nation in europe, once them. the eu wants them, washington is silent. what is going on?
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if we want negotiations, merkel said, here, and not a word. even though merkel was here last week, with putin and the only thing they discussed publicly was snowden's revolutions or revelation that we attacked -- tapped her is used to a prorated about that, but they did not mention this proposal of hers. the german authorities have not denied she made a proposal to putin. it is a way out, and we are silent. what i want to go to henry kissinger, former secretary of state misspeaking about vladimir putin in what might be behind russia's recent policy toward ukraine. he was talking on cnn. he planned tonk bring it to a head now. i think he had planned a more gradual situation. response to of the what he believes to be an .mergency situation
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just because he explains why he did it, doesn't mean it proves [indiscernible] i think we ought to settle the ukraine issue first, and then have a discussion. >> that is henry kissinger. >> is perfectly sensible and the store in the street is, obama will not [indiscernible] as they say, go figure. we used to have a lot of so-called senior statement and -- statesmen and wiseman to turn to an emergency. i can't think of one to whom obama turns to. and i have henry kissinger. think what you will about his past, but he sees putin personally two times he or. kissinger understands what is going on. he is preaching a negotiation and obama -- my understanding is
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obama has declined to see kissinger. why in this crisis would you not want to spend an hour with kissinger? >> i want to turn to the upcoming national elections scheduled for may 20 said in ukraine. on tuesday, secretary of state john kerry criticized russia's call for ukraine to postpone the election. >> is very hard to reconcile that russia is now making the argument that ukraine ought to reduce and not have an election or postpone an election because the violence is taking place, but russia is full whole hog behind having election in syria where there's far worse violence. reconcile that one for us, please. ry who is nower become secretary of war, and not secretary of state. he is supposed to be our chief diplomat. at recall him uttering in the word about any kind of diplomacy
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the last two weeks. why he's so embattled, i don't know. let's remember what putin said as of last thursday. there's clip you showed may be out of date will stop putin says, russia have been opposed to the presidential election in ukraine on the 25th. >> he spoke on tuesday. this was him speaking. >> then this is a little out of date. on thursday, i believe, putin said, you want to have presidential election in ukraine. it is a crazy idea, but please go ahead, we will interfere. it is a crazy idea. why is it about idea? remember, we have drawn a new redline. we said to russia, if you interfere in any way with this presidential election in ukraine, we will impose more sanctions on you. so that election is very important to the united states because we want to list of
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some -- the stowe some legitimacy. what kind of election can take whilein eastern ukraine kiev's tanks are firing on used ukraine in cities -- east ukrainian cities? you can say, they will stop firing on the election day. but what will be the it impact? candidate who propose to represent eastern ukraine and the national election, two weeks ago went to a tv studio like this one in cap to participate in a national debate and were beaten up in the streets before they could enter the building. this is a presidential election. what is more likely to happen is this election happens is it will be a step toward the further participation ash partition in
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ukraine. the president elected will be the president of kiev western and parts of southern ukraine. he or she will not be recognized by eastern and southern ukraine. and that has absolutely nothing to do with putin. so that will be a step toward partition. if you really want to solve the problem, you go back to the european union proposal in february and have elections in december, give everybody six or seven months chance to organize, and you parliamentary elections as well. because the united states is right. the democratic theory is right. the essence of the democratic society is not a government, but parliament. they need a new parliament and new constitution. a president cannot enact a new a situation in ukraine. why are they rushing to may?
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the united states wants to get some legitimacy to this government of kiev. i think any political scientist were constitutional lawyer would tell you, you have to wait and do it right. >> this is president obama speaking when angela merkel, the german chancellor, came to washington, d c >> the russian leadership must know if it continues to destabilize eastern ukraine and disrupt this month's presidential election, we will move quickly on additional steps, including further sanctions that will impose greater costs. that is the choice facing the russian leadership. our preference is a diplomatic resolution to this issue and the ukrainian government has already shown itself more than willing to work through some of the issues that would ensure the rights of all ukrainians are respected, that you have a representative government. >> that was obama. >> it certainly was.
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the question is, if you are at a press conference with him and he would take your question, you would say, are you saying that all the unrest in eastern and southern ukraine is caused by russian meddling? if he said yes to that question, that would mean he is completely uninformed and he needs new insiders. if you said partially, then the following a question, are we doing anything to increase the unrest as an enabling our government in kiev to open fire with tank cannons on cities, does that increase unrest? of course it does. but to blame russia for everything that is happening now is simply factually preposterous. >> late last month, the imf approved an aid package for ukraine. the imf managing director christine lagarde announced the program. .> urgent action was necessary decisive measures were taken by
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ukraine and decisive measures have just been taken by the imf. so there has been a very strong endorsement for the program which will release over the course of the next two years, $17.1 billion in different installments over the course of those two years. but that was the imf managing director. your response and where you think putin is going to go right now? >> on the imf, we have seen what imf help means to a country. you don't get the money without strings attached. and the strings are what we call austerity. that means pensions will be reduced, salaries paid by the state to federal employees will be reduced or people laid off. that means all of the utility prices in the country will go up probably 50% to 100%. emmys the job market will contract. there'll be more unemployment. you're worried
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about destabilizing ukraine, the imf will now come with these measures. let's look at the humorous or ironic part of it. the first part of the money was paid, i believe, this week, $3.5 billion. it is approximately what ukraine owes russia for natural gas already delivered. so rush is saying, great. just have the imf send the check to us. that will be decided in the next few days because russia says if we don't get paid, we aren't going to send any more natural gas. it is not winter now, but they still needed to turn the lights on. russia is not opposed to the imf paying ukraine's bills. is notlity is, ukraine going to get $17 billion in the next few years. a lot of that is in the form of loans, which it has to repay. the problem ukraine now has is it has billions and billions of
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dollars of foreign debt it cannot pay. and to add more debt -- we did this to russia in the 1990's. we said here is $5 billion. by the way, pay back in two years. pay it back with interest. they can't do it. this is a burdensome program. it isn't going to save the day. >> and what putin is doing, talking about pulling back, discouraging the boat that just took place from actually taking place? >> here he goes to the way you see the whole crisis. i am attacked for saying something to me that seems to be in paraguay true, which are not supposed to stay in u.s., and i'm grateful that you allow me and others to say this. putin didn't want his ukrainian crisis. he did not begin it, but he is mr. pushback all stop when you meddle with putin, you're asking for a fight. he still wants the situation de-escalated and stabilize. he believes the main factor is
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destabilization is key of sending armed forces to ukraine and firing on civilians. he is calling on the united states to stop that. >> eastern ukraine? >> eastern ukraine. he believes once that stops, it is relatively easy to find negotiations to demilitarize -- >> you don't think you want eastern ukraine annex? >> what is he going to do with it? i mean, it would -- let me point out, one reason so many people in crimea wanted to join russia is pensions automatically double. russia has economic problems. what it does want 100% is continuing economic relations with eastern ukraine. putin's position is, trade with the european union, trade with russia. why did europe save it only trade with one of the other? why would russia wanted to eastern ukraine? if you asked me, are the russian
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agents in eastern ukraine? i would say, i certainly hope so, to help control a movement that putin can't control. you don't want things spinning out of control in eastern ukraine. >> we will leave it there, stpehen cohen. his most recent book is recently out in paperback called, "soviet fates and lost alternatives: from stalinism to the new cold war." we will link to your piece in the nation magazine called, "cold war against russia -- without debate." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, what does cia have to do with polio in pakistan? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the world health organization has announced the spread of polio is a global public health emergency. according to the who, outbreaks in asia, africa, and the middle
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east are an extraordinary event requiring a coordinated international response. the organization pinpointed three countries as posing the greatest risk of further spreading the paralyzing virus -- pakistan, cameroon, in syria. in an unusual step, the who recommended all residents of those countries of all ages be vaccinated before traveling abroad. another seven countries should encourage all the would-be travelers to get vaccinated. those are afghanistan, ethiopia, iraq, israel, nigeria and somalia. bruce aylward, the assistant director general of the who, announced the emergency declaration. >> the director general has declared the international spread of wild polio virus today in 2014 am a public health emergency of international concern. there have been 70 four cases of polio due to wild polio virus so far this year. 59 of those cases have been reported from pakistan.
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inthe situation as of today april 2014 when unchecked, it could result in failure to eradicate locally one of the world's most serious vaccine-preventable diseases. >> bruce aylward from the assistant director general of the world health organization. until recently, polio had been nearly eradicated thanks to 25-year campaign that vaccinated billions of children. in pakistan, the increase in polio is linked to a secret cia ploy used in the hunt for osama bin laden. with the help of a pakistani dr., the cia set up a fake vaccination campaign in the city of abbottabad in an effort to get dna from the midline family. the taliban subsequently announced a ban on immunization efforts and launched a string of deadly attacks on medical workers. for more we're joined by rafia zakaria. she is a columnist for dawn, pakistan's largest and was newspaper, who has been covering the rise of polio in pakistan since the bin laden raid.
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for year, she wrote a piece war states called, "the war, the women, and the vaccine." by phone byoined one of pakistan's leading polio experts, dr. zulfiqar bhutta, founding director of the center for excellence in women and child health at the aga khan in diversity karachi. we welcome you both to democracy now! is responsiblenk for this outbreak of polio in pakistan? >> amy, thanks for having me on. in pakistan right now, what you see is kind of the perfect storm where there is a collusion of factors coming together to cause a tremendous health emergency for pakistan, women and children especially. you mentioned the cia program that was used, the fake vaccination program that was used to collect dna.
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in addition to that is the fact the taliban and since then have been targeting the health workers that provide immunizations in pakistan, polio in his nations in pakistan. and a third factor is, just the underfunded nature of the health worker program that provides these vaccinations. all of these key factors have essentially come together to create a situation where in just three years -- it was three years ago pakistan was about to eradicate the polio virus. you can see across the border in india where these political events did not happen, they did eradicate the polio virus. cases -- the cases are spreading. they have spread -- they used to and be in the tribal areas
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the biggest city next to the tribal areas, and to now all the way south to karachi which is a city of 20 money people, where the spread of viruses like polio can happen very, very fast. you have to remember these health workers that are at the front line of this vaccination campaign are paid $2.50 a day. peoplee to see how the who are at the very front lines of this abdel -- battle who are trying to get the virus under control, not only [indiscernible] they have no security. they're easy targets for the taliban and other extremist groups. but the central issue is public trust. it is unimaginable in the western industrialized nations of the world, that a public health program would be allowed
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to be used as a front to essentially forward a strategic interest in capturing one or another person. in this is what has happened pakistan. and so you have a situation where among the rural areas especially in also in inner cities of karachi and elsewhere, people don't track the vaccine. they don't know what it does. first, when there is a rumor that says pakistani children are being sterilized by this vaccine and then you have the truth of the fact the cia did use the program, it is very top a very difficult to convince people -- even educated people -- that the vaccine their children are going to get is one that hasn't been tampered with. >> zulfiqar bhutta dr., can you and theto the virus
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polio emergency that has been announced by who and what is happening in your country of pakistan? >> thank you very much. i'm grateful for the invitation to join you this morning. let me just add to what she said. this i agree with her is current perfect storm a variety of issues and the lack of public trust in a broad polio immunization program. however, i don't think the blame for the failure of polio eradication of pakistan can be blamed entirely on the bin laden episode, which deplorable as it was, was a problematic issue that happened at a time when we needed to build public confidence and not the opposite. what has happened in pakistan is that you have virtually a civil war going on in some parts of the country, notably in the federally ministry did -- a minister at of tribal areas. where nobody can enter. help teams cannot enter. beenresult, it has
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impossible to vaccinate large parties have children and people moving out of the area have been able to carry viruses to all parts of the neighboring province. because there's a large portion of people who travel down to karachi and migrate there, there's also transmission of virus in those areas. there's a very close link of polio program in pakistan with the conflict and war. as you can imagine, and the parts of the world where the virus has spread or reemerged, these are also geographies where there has been conflict and a breakdown of primary care and health services -- somalia, syria, the oscillation of the virus in iraq from a parts of afghanistan. i think it is important recognize that we are trying to eradicate a disease globally in the midst of very adverse situations of which there are a
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range of factors, including conflict in the takedown of public health services, disinformation which is flamed the shakils such as afridi and the fact that the disorder is now being politicized. the taliban have deplorably not only resulted to attacking health workers and thereby creating this climate of fear amongst the primary care health workers and the population, have also used polio as a way for political negotiations. the north waziristan taliban leaders stated they would only really allow polio campaigns were polio injury -- or polio entry into the area if the drone attacks were stopped. it is a very unfortunate situation which does place a huge responsibility on everybody concerned to take a very rational, balanced approach to
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what needs to be done. >> dr. zulfiqar bhutta, your response to the who recommended all residents of pakistan should show roof for vaccination before they can leave the country? >> well, i can understand where the who is coming from. they're desperately trying to contain the virus from spreading to other geographies. but i do have some reservations on the whole gaming of what might happen with such a draconian imposition of travel restrictions. first, pakistan is not a small country, similar not talking about just a few thousand people traveling. you are talking about millions of people that travel all over the world, people who travel between the west and east. it is always going to be a huge challenge in terms of implementing such a restriction. secondly, there is a real risk. we are already beginning, as the
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people on the ground will confirm, to see a response that is taking away from the core process of focusing on eradication of the disease in the geographies i mention. the government has enforced to set up these vaccination centers in over 130 hospitals. it is been forced a second -- forced to set up at airports. that will require human sources. that will require vaccines. already i've been told that there are insufficient polio vaccine to vaccinate all travelers in the government is just really trying to get the injectable vaccine for those travelers. all of these things will take away from the core focus of the program on trying to vaccinate people in the districts of karachi, and the fatah areas, stripping the -- strengthening
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the programs. are things that require resources, both human and money. i'm afraid these travel restrictions may look cosmetically appropriate, but i don't think they will do much good in terms of the national polio eradication program. >> finally, rafia zakaria, you are poor for dawn, the newspaper in pakistan, but you are in the united states. your message to people in this country who might have no idea what happened with the osama bin laden rate, the special forces and how they found him? >> well, i think -- i would like to speak for the pakistani people who are kind of caught in the middle of this conflict. on one hand, you have the cia, the u.s. government looking at their strategic objectives of catching bin laden, and on the other hand you have the taliban
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whose agenda is basically to destroy pakistan, to spread terror in any way they can. and the tragedy is, neither side seems to care at all about the pakistani people who are caught in the middle. so now the u.s. has osama bin laden but the fact is, in the three years after that raid, we have a polio outbreak in pakistan and extremist groups have been able to increase the number of attacks. the casualties -- pakistan is now the number one country in the number of terrorist attacks anywhere in the world, more than iraq and afghanistan. the question becomes, for americans, what has the war on terror really accomplished? not only do you have these extremist groups able to expand their areas of operation, but now you have a huge public health crisis in pakistan.
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i think dr. zulfiqar bhutta gave a really great insight on how pakistan does not have the resources to contain both of these problems. so i think americans have to move beyond this kind of idea that killing one figurehead in the number two leader in the number three leader is winning the war on terror. they have to look at the cost of this that is imposed by countries like pakistan and especially on the innocent civilians. the final consequence that i think should be considered is because of this war, a functioning program -- the lady health worker program -- it uses very little money to provide basic health care to millions of pakistani women and children is now essentially being scrapped. >> i want to thank you both for being with us. i'm sorry, we have to end it there, rafia zakaria, covering
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the rise of polio since the bin laden raid will stop we also want to thank dr. zulfiqar of the founding director center for excellence in women and children health at the aga khan university. when we come back, the update of what is happening with almost 300 girls abducted by the boko haram in nigeria. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the latest on nigeria, the boko haram has released a video showing the first images of the kidnapped nigerian schoolgirls and their abduction nearly a month ago, close to half of the nearly 300 girls are seen on the tape. for more we go to niger and journalists, publisher of the online news site joining us by democracy now! video stream from new jersey.
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what is the latest? can you explain this video you posted on your website as well? week, theyd you last want to use the girls as a shield. negotiation toor get some of their members who were detained by nigerian government. by officials saying there were no abduction --h a waste on that night that took place on that night. bestharam at their propaganda. holding the maturing government incompetent. what about what they are saying that they have the girls, that they have converted to islam, and the progress been made in finding them?
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president jonathan says he is quite sure the girls are still being held in nigeria, not move to cameroon and chad. -- i have been saying since last week, i also mentioned i do not believe they're going to sell them. it is propaganda. last week they said there were seven and girls and now they're saying, the girls have converted to islam. i don't believe that. this's so much pressure at point, i don't think they have time to actually [indiscernible] run, not from the maturing government, but international and world pressure. >> we
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>> coming up on "california country," see how one shop and farmer are keeping it all in the family. then we're getting the scoop on a new kind of ice cream. and meet a man who is putting fruit to work. plus we've got some summertime produce tips for you. i's all ahead, and it starts now. [captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation] >> welcome to "california country". i'm ur host tracy ses.